A1 Journal article (refereed)
Elevated oxidative stress in pied flycatcher nestlings of eumelanic foster fathers under low rearing temperatures (2019)

Teerikorpi, P. E., Stauffer, J., Ilmonen, P., Calhim, S., Schuett, W., & Laaksonen, T. (2019). Elevated oxidative stress in pied flycatcher nestlings of eumelanic foster fathers under low rearing temperatures. Journal of Experimental Biology, 222(7), Article jeb195909. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.195909

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Teerikorpi, P. E.; Stauffer, J.; Ilmonen, P.; Calhim, Sara; Schuett, W.; Laaksonen, T.

Journal or series: Journal of Experimental Biology

ISSN: 0022-0949

eISSN: 1477-9145

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 222

Issue number: 7

Article number: jeb195909

Publisher: Company of Biologists Ltd.

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.195909

Research data link: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kc57603

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Delayed open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65065

Additional information: Data are available from the Dryad Digital Repository. - For the first six months your article will only be accessible by subscribers of the journal. After six months, the article will be made freely available for everyone.


Striking variation in melanin coloration within natural populations is likely due to the different fitness outcomes of alternative phenotypes in varying environmental conditions. There are two types of melanin: eumelanins yield blackish hues, whereas pheomelanins yield reddish hues. The production of eumelanins requires low levels of glutathione (GSH), which is the most important intracellular antioxidant, whereas the production of pheomelanins requires high levels of GSH. We investigated the oxidative status of male pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) with different degrees of melanin coloration under different temperatures during the nestling period. Moreover, we assessed the oxidative status of offspring in relation to their biological or foster father's melanin coloration and ambient temperature. To separate offspring genotype effects and paternal effects in different temperatures, we used a partial cross-foster design. The temperature differently affected the oxidative status of differently colored male pied flycatchers and their foster offspring. When the weather was relatively cold, black males had higher glutathione S-transferase levels compared with brown males, indicating enhanced stress in black males. Foster offspring of black males had a lower ratio between reduced and oxidized GSH followed by higher total amount of GSH than foster offspring of brown males. Thus, foster offspring of black males seem to suffer from oxidative stress under relatively cold weather compared with those of brown males, and vice versa under relatively warm weather. Although differently colored males experienced changes in their oxidative status under different temperatures, the link between paternal melanin coloration and offspring oxidative stress appears to be environmentally induced.

Keywords: phenotype; genotype; sexual selection; reproduction (biology); temperature; pied flycatcher; oxidative stress

Free keywords: environmental heterogeneity; genetic quality; genotype-by-environment interaction; phenotypic variation; phenotypic quality; secondary sexual trait

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-07-02 at 08:00